My Work is My Future aims to improve pre-vocational and vocational education for learners with learning difficulties and disability to better facilitate their transition to the world of work.  Students with special educational needs are at risk of isolation and they often have limited opportunities to succeed in employment.

The study Vocational Education and Training – Policy and Practice in the field of Special Needs Education, issued by the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education (2012), claims that “individuals with special educational needs are, in relation to the labour market, usually categorised as marginalised or at risk of social exclusion.“ Therefore, it is important that pre-vocational and vocational education is of a high standard and tailored to individual learners‘ needs, with particular attention being paid to the integration of specific groups, including those with disabilities.

The project involves schools from five European countries and Turkey.  Examples of good practice, methods, approaches and study programmes to develop pre-vocational and vocational skills will be shared in order to improve the quality of education, develop students‘ skills and support their transition to employment.

The schools involved cater for almost 900 students and employ over 300 staff who will directly benefit from the project.  In addition, the project will create a website with a bank of tools and resources which will be available to anyone who is involved in developing pre-vocational and vocational education and supporting students with special educational needs to move into employment.

Project objectives:

  1. To set up a strong partnership between schools from the European Union and Turkey who provide primary, secondary and vocational education for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities.  This partnership will share good practice, methods, approaches and study programmes which focus on developing pre-vocational and vocational skills and support the transition to employment.
  2. To share, compare and analyse the pre-vocational and vocational skills curriculum in special needs education in each country.  The partners will also share their experience in co-operating with local authorities, potential employers and other organisations to support students moving in to employment.
  3. To embed and maximise the use of ICT based teaching and training.
  4. To create a bank of resources and tools and make them available through an open educational resource website.  These resources will make use of new technologies e.g. iCT, tablets, interactive whiteboards, alternative and aumentative communication aids, the TEACCH approach, visualisation and structuring and video modelling.
  5. To develop a common methodology focusing on preparing students for future employment from an early age by supporting the development of self-care skills and building a positive attitude towards work, followed by vocational training and participating in a work placement.